Category Archives: Books

Shakespeare on Display

ShakespeareAngle800As part of the E. Beatrice Batson Shakespeare Collection in the College Archives and Special Collections, Buswell Library is pleased to have a copy of Henry the Fourth, both the first and second parts. These plays are taken from the fourth folio edition of Mr. William Shakespear’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies (1685) and were donated to the College in honor of Dr. Batson’s retirement from the English Department about 25 years ago. This month, thanks to the generous donation of a custom-made case, our folio has found a new home on permanent display in the lobby of Buswell Library.

In preparation for this display, I had the opportunity to research this special book, and the findings were rather surprising.

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At first, all we knew about this volume was contained in an inscription written in an unknown hand on one of its back fly leaves: ShakespeareNote800

 

“Extracted from the / Fourth Folio of 1685 / Bound in Cambridge calf / antique style by / Bernard Middleton. / hole in the leaf Hh”

I was able to locate the publication information for the “Fourth Folio of 1685” through the English Short Title Catalogue, a database of antiquarian English books hosted by the British Library. A combined author and date search returned three entries:

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Without a title page, it was impossible to tell which of the three imprints our plays contained. Therefore, as “H. Herringman” was the only constant between the three, he was the obvious starting point for further research.

The British Book Trade Index and CERL Thesaurus list “H. Herringman” as Henry Herringman, who worked from 1653-1693 as a bookseller and publisher in London. He specialized in producing fine literature and dramatic texts, which is unsurprising considering his relationship with the poet John Dryden and his many copyrights for Shakespearean works.[1]

To publish Shakespeare’s fourth folio, Herringman employed three printing houses to each produce a section of it. The plays in our copy are taken from the second section, which is particularly interesting due to its errors in layout. More specifically, there were many mistakes made in labelling the signatures. These combinations of letters and numbers in the bottom right corners of certain pages determined the format of the book, and so it was important that they be precise. Our copy of The First Part of Henry IV features an example of such an error on folio 41:  the signature “Ee3” had been mistakenly left off the page, but here someone (likely from the printing house) has corrected it by hand with ink.

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Scholar Giles E. Dawson examined nearly 40 copies of this folio, and in the majority of them “Ee3” was added in this way. He notes that the handwriting is the same in all the copies he examined, and that it is most distinctive in this particular signature.[2]

Having read Dawson’s assessment, I wanted to compare our signature to that in others copies and see if it matched. The ESTC linked to three examples of this text, one with each of the different imprints, in the Early English Books Online database and it seems Dawson was correct: in all of them, there is a forward slant in the uppcase “E” and the crossbar of the lowercase “e” is tilted upwards.

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Ours, however, appears different:

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The uppercase “E” has no slant to it (although it certainly has some ungraceful serifs), and the crossbar on the lowercase “e” is flat. Was it written by someone else? Or could the corrector have been experimenting, perhaps using a different pen?

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In another place in the book, we find more markings and they, too, highlight some strange particularities.

Folio 47 features parts of two scenes from The First Part of Henry IV which someone has marked up to note typographical and editorial issues. For example, the “S” in “Scena Tertia” is incorrectly printed in roman, while the rest of the heading is italicized:

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On the other side of the page, a misspelling is noted, where the “e” in “sedden” is crossed out and the correct letter, “u”, is written in the margin:

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And below that, a pound sign in the margin corresponds to a marking within the text:

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This was a convention with which I was unfamiliar. One of the pound sign’s many purposes over time has been to signal the need for a space, which seems to be the significance here. In an attempt to date these notations, I tried to research the history of the pound sign as an indicator of a missing space. While the history of marginal and typographic symbols has been the topic of several books and blogs in recent years, writers have focused on the pound sign’s capacity as an abbreviation for, well, “pound” rather than as an indicator of a lacking space. As a result, I’m uncertain as to when this became common in proofreading, which makes it difficult to determine when these notations were added.

That said, there are two remarks that can be made with certainty. The first is that all of the Shakespeare folios were printed at a time when the English language was yet unstandardized and undergoing continual changes in spelling and punctuation. Each was edited differently, although compositor’s mistakes were to blame as well as emerging conventions.[3] The marks in our volume illustrate one person’s engagement with his or her text in a period where readers, writers, and compositors were experiencing a dynamic evolution of language.

A second certain remark is that none of the other aforementioned copies of the fourth edition have these mistakes on this page. The books at the Bodleian Library, Folger Shakespeare Library, and Cambridge University Library all have the italic “S” instead of the roman, the correct “u” in sudden, and while the quality of the EEBO scans makes it tricky to determine for sure, it seems as though all also have a space between “Henry” and the colon.

What does this indicate? To be honest, I’m not sure. Could these markings signal a printer’s copy used to make changes before sending the book to press? It’s possible, although one would assume that the errors in layout would have been flagged then, too.[4] The general design of the page is consistent with that of the fourth edition and only the fourth edition of the Shakespeare folios, leaving me frankly quite puzzled as to where this copy fits into the larger narrative of the publication. Between the differences in the signatures and now this page, our book contains some mysteries which, until further research is completed, must remain unsolved.

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The material composition of this book, on the other hand, is a mystery solved. As stated in the inscription, our copy was specially bound by Bernard Middleton, a renowned British binder who flourished in the twentieth century and literally wrote the book on English bookbinding. The work he did for our copy resulted in an elegant speckled calf leather binding with blind tooling and gilt letters, and he signed his work in the lower left corner of the back cover paste-down using his signature stamp.

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Determining the papermaker, on the other hand, was a bit trickier. Such details aren’t listed in imprints and there was nothing in the inscription. Yet when held up to the light, it became clear that, consistent with folios from the era, our book was printed on antique laid paper with vertical chain lines. Upon closer inspection, I saw a watermark:

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It was hard to make out the letters and shapes, but I saw something resembling a plus sign, a possible fleur-de-lis, and the letters V, A, and L towards the beginning of the word and A, R, and D towards the end. It looked like “OVALGARD”, but this search returned no results. While browsing the Thomas L. Gravell Watermark Database, however, I discovered the name of a seventeenth-century papermaker from Normandy, Denis Vaullegeard, who sometimes used the spelling “DVAVLEGEARD” in his watermarks. As it happens, Dawson had already credited Vaullegeard’s work on the fourth folio paper in an article published more than 50 years ago. According to him, multiple Vaullegeard watermarks are found on the pages of the folio, all containing elements featured in the image above: the name, the shield, and the loopy ribbon bordering it.[5]

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A final clue also appeared on the paper, and while it wasn’t quite as hidden as the watermark, it still originally passed unnoticed. In the top left corner on the back side of the front free endpaper are some tiny words in ink:

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Thanks to a quick Google search, what looks like “LOTHERAN. JACKVILLE ST. LONDON” was revealed to be “SOTHERAN SACKVILLE ST. LONDON”. Sotheran’s of Sackville Street is, according to its website, the oldest antiquarian bookshop in the world, founded in York more than 250 years ago.

Since our provenance information for this item is limited, I emailed Sotheran’s for more information and quickly received a reply from the Managing Director. He informed me that they have sold many plays taken from (typically incomplete) copies of all four folios, and while he wasn’t able to locate the information for our particular plays, he was able to tell me that they must have been sold after 1936, the date in which Sotheran’s moved to Sackville Street. Their archives were destroyed in World War II—bombing and looting during this period have created numerous provenance problems—so it may be that our plays were sold in between those events and the record is gone, or they might have been sold later and Sotheran’s records database is incomplete.  Regardless, we now have some insight into the three centuries between our book’s publication and its arrival in the College Archives & Special Collections.

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Although many details from our book’s past are still unknown, we were able to find out much about this special copy. Perhaps as more editions are digitized and more scholarship is completed, we will discover exactly why our copy stands unique among its peers, and maybe even find out more about its provenance. In the meantime, if you would like to see Henry the Fourth for yourself, please come visit the display in Buswell Library.

References:

[1] See Sonia Massai, “‘Taking Just Care of the Impression’: Editorial Intervention in Shakespeare’s Fourth Folio, 1685,” in Shakespeare Survey Volume 55: King Lear and its Afterlife, ed. Peter Holland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 257-270; and Giles E. Dawson, “Some Bibliographical Irregularities in the Shakespeare Fourth Folio,” in Studies in Bibliography, 4 (1951/1952), 93-103 for more information on Herringman and the production of this folio.

[2] See Dawson, “Some Bibliographical Irregularities,” 94.

[3] See Massai’s article, as well as Matthew Black and M. A. Shaaber’s book, Shakespeare’s seventeenth-century editors, 1632-1685 (New York, Kraus Reprint Corp., 1966), for details on the editorial process.

[4] Dawson notes that these layout errors were indeed noted late into the printing, and corrections were made for a small remaining batch of books which technically comprised a fifth edition; see “Some Bibliographical Irregularities,” whole article for more information.

[5] “Bibliographical Irregularities,” 246.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Helen Howarth Lemmel, born in England but raised in the United States, taught music at Moody Bible Institute and the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. Gifted with words as well as music, she wrote columns for a newspaper and directed choral groups for the Billy Sunday evangelistic campaigns. In 1918 at age 55 she acquired a gospel booklet called “Focussed” written by Lilias Trotter, missionary to Algeria. “Turn your soul’s vision to Jesus,” wrote Trotter, “and look and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him…”

Trotter’s exhortation forcibly struck the weary Lemmel. She writes, “Suddenly, as if commanded to stop and listen, I stood still, and, singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody…These verses were written…the same week, after the usual manner of composition, but none the less dictated by the Holy Spirit.” The hymn, initially called “The Heavenly Vision,” appeared in Glad Songs. It was sung at the 1922 Keswick Convention in England and eventually became known by its refrain, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” This familiar hymn is now sung in churches throughout the world. Helen Lemmel died in Seattle, Washington, in 1961.

The Keswick Collection (SC-30), comprising books and pamphlets, the Lilias Trotter Collection (SC-225), comprising illustrated journals, and the Hymnal Collection (SC-15) are housed in the Wheaton College Special Collections.

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What’s cookin’ at Wheaton College

Need a recipe for spinach balls? Pear salad? Ham souffle? Rhubarb crumble? Just thumb through Wheaton College Women’s Cooking, compiled sometime in the late 1970s by the Women’s Club. ClubThe Wheaton College Women’s Club is open to the wives of any administrators, faculty or staff. Officially organized in 1929 under Mrs. J. Oliver Buswell, wife of the third president of Wheaton College, the club was known as the Faculty Wives of Wheaton College. Today the organization seeks to serve the college community through various programs, continuing the heritage of deep concern for friendship, sharing and service shown by Mary Blanchard, wife of founder Jonathan Blanchard.

Papers relating to the Wheaton College Women’s Club (RG 9.14) are housed in the Wheaton College Archives.

100 Years

CairnsDr. Earle Cairns, professor of history and chairman of the department of history at Wheaton College, was commissioned in 1960 to write a book, Saints and Society, about the social impact of evangelical compassion. Cairns profiles reformers such as John Wesley, William Wilberforce and Lord Shaftsbury, chronicling their contributions to the sweeping revivals that shook England and beyond. The book served a dual purpose, also celebrating the 100th anniversary of Wheaton College, founded in 1860. Published by Moody Press in Chicago, the book’s dust jacket sports the college logo (below). Records, documents, photos and memorabilia pertaining to the Wheaton College Centennial are maintained in the Wheaton College Archives (RG 10.4).

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Wheaton Academy

AcademyDawn Earl, Director of Alumni Relations at Wheaton Academy, has published Celebrating God’s Unfolding Story: 160 Years and Beyond (2014), relating the history of the school.

Covering its inception in 1853 to the present, Earl’s captivating narrative chronicles the various personalities and historical events which have shaped the development of Wheaton Academy. Researching widely, Earl used many photos and other materials from the Wheaton College (IL) Archives.

 

Ellul Research

Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), sociologist, author and professor, frequently addresses the intersection of technology, morality and faith. EllulHis influential books include The Technological Society and The Ethics of Freedom. As social media advances and pervades entertainment, business and politics, Ellul’s predictions become ever more relevant. Several new books examine his prescient theories and research.

Vleet, Jacob E. Van. Dialectical Theology and Jacques Ellul An Introductory Exposition. Lanham: Fortress Press, 2014​. http://www.amazon.com/Dialectical-Theology-Jacques-Ellul-Introductory/dp/1451470398/

Shaw, Jeffrey M. Illusions of Freedom: Thomas Merton and Jacques Ellul on Technology and the Human Condition. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2014. http://www.amazon.com/Illusions-Freedom-Jacques-Technology-Condition/dp/1625640587

Ellul, Jacques, Samir Younes, David Lovekin, and Michael Johnson. The Empire of Non-Sense: Art in the Technological Society. Winterbourne: Papadakis, 2014. http://www.amazon.com/The-Empire-Non-Sense-TecHnological-Society/dp/190650640X

The papers of Jacques Ellul (SC-16) are archived at Wheaton College (IL) Special Collections.

 

 

Through Winding Ways

BirdThe following text, describing Wheaton College founder, Jonathan Blanchard, and his son, Charles, is excerpted from the prologue to Through Winding Ways (1939) by Zenobia Bird (Laura LeFevre). This is one of at least three novels, including The Tower, The Mask and the Grave (2000) by Betty Smartt Carter and The Silver Trumpet (1930) by John Wesley Inglis, featuring Wheaton College as its setting.

A man stood looking at a lone college building, small, plain, but sturdily built — his citadel, and then he turned and gazed long and far into the distant future. The wide prairie, flat and treeless, stretched out before him. That huddle of houses was the nearby village, while here and there an occasional farmhouse with young orchard and freshly planted shade trees gladdened the view and broke the monotony of the miles.

He was not given to dreaming, this pioneer from rock-ribbed Vermont, but a mighty vision gripped his soul. He was a born educator and an evangelist. The low hill upon which he stood was consecrated ground, dedicated in prayer to the cause of Christian education. Others had chosen the spot and launched the venture, but God had called him to captain the enterprise and lead on to vaster endeavor. As he looked with kindling eyes down the vista of the years, in vision he saw them, a troop of young men and women trained in the college that was to be, and going out as laborers in the Master’s vineyard to win souls for Christ and His Kingdom.

A quarter of a century rolled by, and in his place stood another Valiant-for-Truth, his son. Part of the dream of father and son has been fulfilled. On the hill now rose a stately white stone edifice of noble proportions, not supplanting, but surrounding and embodying in itself that which first had been. In the forefront of the building a Norman tower of simple beauty and dignity overlooked all the landscape. The bell in the turret was cast for its own noble purpose and bore in Latin the motto of the college, “For Christ and His Kingdom.”

This man for long years labored indefatigably to build a great college that would honor and glorify the Savior of the world (by rhonda). With painstaking care he laid the foundation solidly on the Rock, Christ Jesus himself the chief cornerstone. Into the spiritual structure, as real to the builder as the college walls of cut stone, there was built with purpose sure the sincere teaching of the Word of God.

 

Michener on Buechner

James A. Michener authored more than 40 books, mostly massive historical sagas set in a particular geographic location, such as Hawaii, Poland and Texas. He published his first novel, Tales of the South Pacific, at 40 and continued writing until his death at 90 in 1997. His literary career is  noted for constant worldwide traveling and meticulous research, often incorporating history into his fictional narratives. MichenerIn his memoir, The World is My Home (1992), he reflects on certain novelists he admires and supports, including, somewhat surprisingly, Frederick Buechner.

In the lecture on the literary scene I reviewed the work of some half dozen writers but with special emphasis on two who had captured my imagination and for whom I had great hopes. I sold a lot of books for these two young men. The first had attended Princeton University and was either contemplating or beginning a career in the Presbyterian ministry in which he would later excel. Frederick Buechner had a style of great elegance, so highly polished that he reminded me of Wharton at her best. He liked long sentences dealing with, for example, the sensibilities of urbane parents who sent their sons to places like Princeton, and I used to read aloud with great effect several passages from his novel A Long Day’s Dying, in which single sentences ran on for half a page. At the end of each segment I would tell my audience: “I could not in a hundred years write like Mr. Buechner, nor would I want to, but I esteem him as one of the best young writers today and feel sure he will maintain that reputation in the decades ahead.”

Michener adds a footnote, “He has. From his industrious pen has continued to flow a unique mix of intelligent novels and masterfully argued religious essays. His reputation is solid.”

The papers of Frederick Buechner (SC-05) are archives at Wheaton College (IL) Special Collections.

 

Full Circle

FullCircleThe 1960s were years of dizzying upheaval for the United States. Its citizens wearied of the complex, seemingly endless war in Viet Nam. University students experimented with radical philosophies and mind-altering drugs. Racial tensions tightened in the inner city, often exploding. Popular music, particularly rock and roll, assumed an edgier attitude, reflecting the spirit of protest. As culture-shattering challenges shook the American psyche, the church did not remain unscathed. Amid the turmoil, David Mains, formerly assistant pastor at Moody Church in Chicago, with his wife, Karen, determined that the moment was right to implement a “creative” congregation on the edge of the ghetto, using all the gifts of its membership while aggressively reaching the socially disenfranchised and those disillusioned by local churches. Under Mains’ leadership, Circle Church began in 1967 with 28 people. Four years later Circle Church’s membership climbed to 500 congregants,  comprising students, high-rise apartment dwellers and ghetto inhabitants. Mains tells the story in Full Circle (1971). As the years progressed, however, Circle Church began to slowly unravel. Mains picks up the story in a 2004 Christianity Today essay called “Presumption at Circle Church.” He writes, “Today I am embarrassed about some of the attitudes expressed in Full Circle. I still have the same principles, but my comments seem cocky and presumptuous. I saw Circle Church as the tip of a new wave that would sweep across evangelical churches. That didn’t happen. Circle Church still exists, but in a smaller form and with more specialized emphasis.” Mains cites several reasons for the failure of Circle Church, expounding on each point. 1) I often allowed myself to fixate on issues. 2) I was naive about social problems. 3) In encouraging others’ gifts, I minimized my leadership role. 4) I held onto the church too tightly.

“The best thing that happened to me in leaving Circle Church was the breaking of my pride,” Mains writes. “During the breaking time, I felt rejected by the church that I had poured my life and soul into for ten years. For a brief time I questioned my faith in God. I wondered if I could trust him again.” He concludes,”More than a year passed after I left Circle Church before I began to feel like a man again. I have since sensed a new filling of the Holy Spirit, which was the result of a complete surrender to God. The process taught me to put confidence not in myself but in the Lord. As never before I identify with Paul’s words, ‘His strength is made perfect in my weakness.'”

Though Mains expresses a measure of remorse, his experiment in the Chicago ghetto, using liturgy, art and lively worship, waved a banner of salvation and hope for many, while providing a template for later generations of churches employing similar principles.

In 1977 Mains assumed the position of director for the Chapel of the Air, with Karen acting as co-host of the syndicated radio broadcast. Both have authored several books. Their papers (SC-118) are housed at Wheaton College Special Collections at Wheaton College (IL).

Masked: The Life of Anna Leonowens by Al Habegger

A brave British widow goes to Siam and—by dint of her principled and indomitable character—inspires that despotic nation to abolish slavery and absolute rule: this appealing legend first took shape after the Civil War when Anna Leonowens came to America from Bangkok and succeeded in becoming a celebrity author and lecturer. Three decades after her death, in the 1940s and 1950s, the story would be transformed into a powerful Western myth by Margaret Landon’s best-selling book Anna and the King of Siam and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical The King and I.

But who was Leonowens and why did her story take hold? Although it has been known for some time that she was of Anglo-Indian parentage and that her tales about the Siamese court are unreliable, not until now, with the publication of Masked, has there been a deeply researched account of her extraordinary life. Alfred Habegger, an award-winning biographer, draws on the archives of five continents and recent Thai-language scholarship to disclose the complex person behind the mask and the troubling facts behind the myth. He also ponders the curious fit between Leonowens’s compelling fabrications and the New World’s innocent dreams—in particular the dream that democracy can be spread through quick and easy interventions.

Exploring the full historic complexity of what it once meant to pass as white, Masked (published by University of Wisconsin Press, 560 pages) pays close attention to Leonowens’s mid-level origins in British India, her education at a Bombay charity school for Eurasian children, her material and social milieu in Australia and Singapore, the stresses she endured in Bangkok as a working widow, the latent melancholy that often afflicted her, the problematic aspects of her self-invention, and the welcome she found in America, where a circle of elite New England abolitionists who knew nothing about Southeast Asia gave her their uncritical support.  Her embellished story would again capture America’s imagination as World War II ended and a newly interventionist United States looked toward Asia.

The Kenneth & Margaret Landon Papers (SC-38) are cited as primary source materials and are housed in the Wheaton College Special Collections, available to researchers.

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Alfred Habegger is professor emeritus of English at the University of Kansas. His previous biographies are The Father: A Life of Henry James, Sr. and the highly acclaimed My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson. He lives in northeast Oregon.